Michigan state lawmakers will consider legislation that would bar employers, including hospitals, from requiring staff be vaccinated against coronavirus.
House Bill 4471, scheduled for debate in committee Thursday, would ban Michigan employers from requiring vaccinations or masks as a consequence of being unvaccinated, Fox 17 reported.
The bill also would prohibit employers from discharging, failing, or refusing to hire an individual because they haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine, and from disclosing to the public that an individual "has not received or declines to receive a specified vaccination."
"Hospitals are looking at reduced staff and stressed employment levels by forcing this on the people that are left that have been through hell," Republican state Rep. Beth Griffin, who helped introduce the bill, told Fox 17.
"I am hearing from people that are scared."
The bill states that those "aggrieved" by a violation of the act may pursue a civil suit for injunctive relief and damages. The restrictions also cover vaccinations for influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
"A court shall award costs and reasonable attorney fees and may award treble damages to a person who prevails as a plaintiff in a suit authorized under this act," the bill, which is scheduled to take effect 90 days after enacted into law, says, The Hill reported
Some of Michigan's businesses rebuked the proposed legislation.
"At the present time, it is a safety issue," said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Henry Ford Health System.
Henry Ford Health System is requiring employees get vaccinated to protect staff and patients, Munkarah said.
"Is the next thing the legislature going to decide what medication we can give and cannot give based on science out there? Wearing a mask is a medical decision within our hospitals at the present time," Munkarah said.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services held a Wednesday press conference and discussed seeing a 36% increase in the number of COVID outbreaks, Fox 17 reported.
According to the state, 97.6% of cases between Jan. 15-June 28 were in people not fully vaccinated
"Everyone who is getting a vaccination. Everyone who is wearing a mask indoors. Those are all steps we can take as members of a community with a shared responsibility of protecting our children, especially those under 12 who are not yet able to receive vaccinations," said Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift, Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent.
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